There are two important relationships for wrestlers to maintain through their careers that will create the perception of their personalities. The first is the bond between the wrestlers in the locker room. It seems obvious that co-workers should treat each other with respect and have a cordial relationship for the betterment of everyone. That isn’t always the case. Many wrestlers get into drama and fight over the most ridiculous things. It usually revolves around one of the performers having a huge ego and terrible personality. The other important factor for a wrestler’s reputation is their relationship with the fan base.
At the end of the day, fans are the ones supporting the business and make it possible for wrestlers to make a living. The relationship between wrestlers and fans vary. Some wrestlers have reputations for being kind and accommodating. Others unfortunately have snubbed their fan base and have horror stories when it comes to interactions. We’ll look at both of these aspects breaking down how wrestlers act outside of the ring. Both sides of their reputations will be covered in depth. These are the top ten current WWE stars that are known for being jerks in real life and ten that are sweethearts.
20 Jerk: Seth Rollins
It may be a bit harsh to classify Seth Rollins as a jerk, but all of the evidence points in that direction. His in-ring skills make him one of the most exciting wrestlers in the WWE today. Unfortunately, various stories about his personal life have painted him in a less flattering light. A fan story surfaced online about Rollins referencing his star status and talking down to an airline employee about wanting to skip the line.
The WWE Network’s Swerved series saw Rollins flip out on a planted employee that didn’t know who he was and wouldn’t let him in the building. Rollins swearing at the assumed employee and talking down to him made him look quite arrogant. There was also the controversy surrounding his love triangle that made everyone involved look terrible, especially Seth for allegedly cheating on his fiancé. Hopefully he proves us wrong, but Rollins appears to be among the biggest jerks in wrestling.
19 Sweetheart: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is an absolute savage on the microphone when playing his heel persona. He takes it to another level on social media when fans try to insult him. Owens is still one of the better humans in the wrestling business today despite his social media interactions. His reputation has always been one that is kind to those that are kind to him. No one built a better reputation with the fans on the independent circuit than Owens did expressing genuine appreciation for their support.
The outspoken Owens has made his enemies, like Jim Cornette and Vince Russo, but those guys hate everyone. Owens’ reputation is pristine with the other wrestlers that respect his work ethic. WWE would never have put the Universal Championship on someone who had been on the main roster over just one year if he wasn’t respected in the locker room. Let’s not forget he is regarded as a loving family man and a huge animal enthusiast. If that doesn’t let you hit sweetheart status, nothing will.
18 Jerk: Bronson Matthews
The name Bronson Matthews may not ring a bell to many fans but he is one of the bigger jerks currently in the WWE. Matthews received a contract for winning the 2015 Tough Enough reality show competition. WWE liked his look for the future and potential which the fans agreed with enough to vote him in. Matthews has been training in the Performance Center with one huge mistake making him come off as arrogant.
Bronson posted a comment on social media making fun of The Social Outcasts for being “jobbers.” The WWE locker room went in on him with aggressive replies warning him of his future. Kevin Owens, Cody Rhodes and Bull Dempsey were just three of the names to call him out on his disparaging comment about wrestlers higher in the pecking order than him. Matthews has represented himself poorly on social media in general and has yet to even make his official debut.
17 Sweetheart: Tye Dillinger
One person still in WWE developmental that everyone loves is Tye Dillinger. The Perfect Ten is one of the most popular wrestlers in NXT with fans chanting “ten” in appreciation of him at every single show. Just about every wrestler to work with him publicly expresses their support of the Superstar. Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have specifically gone to bat for him, naming him as one of their favorites to work with.
Dillinger not only wrestles but helps the other wrestlers out in the Performance Center. Considering he has been in the developmental system for many years, new talents have been aided by The Perfect Ten as they get acclimated with the basics of the business. Wrestlers love him. Fans love him. Now all Dillinger needs is Vince McMahon and Triple H to call him up to the main roster.
16 Jerk: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler's in-ring work has been consistent, with him delivering great matches when he wants. His personality happens to rub many people the wrong way however. Ziggler holds a very high opinion of himself. Not everyone shares that belief and it makes him seem like a jerk when he talks about his career. Ziggler is quite brash and often comes off looking like a jerk.
Many of his tweets always skew his perception in a negative light. His standup material in his comedy career is quite obnoxious and his place on the Fox News Channel also shows some of his more controversial opinions. Ziggler brags about stealing the show and being better than his peers, but the past few years of content would show otherwise.
15 Sweetheart: Apollo Crews
WWE fans don’t know enough about Apollo Crews due to his lack of character development and television time. Crews is definitely one of the kindest wrestlers in all of the industry. His infectious smile shines bright every time he appears on SmackDown Live. Unfortunately, the only thing WWE displays about his personality is his smile.
Crews' humble background saw him work hard to get a spot in the WWE. Crews is one of the more respectful humans to ever enter the business. Any interview of his shows him being grateful for his success. Crews' talent and kindness will always work in his favor. WWE’s booking of him, however, leaves a lot to be desired. At least he can sleep well knowing he’s a good person.
14 Jerk: Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke's personality is hard to decipher due to her short time in the wrestling business. WWE groomed her to be one of the NXT success stories. Brooke’s background in fitness competitions made her valuable to the company. However, one of the unwritten rules in wrestling is to never steal a signature maneuver of one of your peers. A recent episode of Total Divas showed a glimpse into the drama behind this.
Lana and Dana were training together working on their moves and Lana hoped to make a gymnastic like splash her trademark move. Brooke apparently used it on Raw before Lana could. It has become a staple in the offense of Brooke. Lana was livid about it and that’s understandable. You are a jerk if you take one of the moves you watched a peer work on in training together.
13 Sweetheart: Luke Harper
Luke Harper is one of the most beloved wrestlers in the locker room. The talented member of The Wyatt Family is very skilled in the ring. WWE never books him as a star and the best moments of his career have come with The Wyatt Family stable. Many wrestlers in the locker room believe Harper deserve more, as everyone speaks about him glowingly in interviews.
On an overseas tour, quite a few wrestlers rocked shirts in support of Harper and took a photograph together breaking kayfabe. A podcast interview with Chris Jericho allowed us to get an insight into the real life personality of Harper. He was shockingly one of the best-spoken wrestlers you’d ever hear and showed appreciation for his peers along with the fans that support him.
12 Jerk: The Miz
You can’t fault The Miz too badly for his mentality, but he acts like a jerk for the most part. Miz is arguably the top heel in the WWE today. The fans on SmackDown Live boo him out of the building every week and show support for his opponents. Miz is one of the few wrestlers that still believe in keeping kayfabe alive outside of the ring.
His heel character often carries over to aspects outside of the ring. Miz is obnoxious, loud and rude to fans in certain settings to keep his gimmick going. It is commendable on one side to add depth to his persona. However, treating fans poorly in any sense comes off in a negative light and makes you look like a huge jerk. Miz is fine with those risks in hopes of it keeping his heel character going strong.
11 Sweetheart: Summer Rae
Many wrestling fans have been adamant about wanting more of Summer Rae on WWE television. There’s good reason for that with her talent, look and reputation all making her stand out positively. Rae is one of the kindest people in the wrestling industry. Social media has seen Summer show great appreciation for her fans and build a tight knit relationship with her supporters.
WWE’s Swerved putting wrestlers into awkward situations gave us a glimpse into the people they truly are outside of the ring. Rae’s predicament saw an elderly lady unable to hold her bladder before going to the restroom. Of all the talent in that situation, Summer was the one who most went out of her way to help the woman and showed the kind of person she was. WWE may never use her to full potential, but Rae can sleep at night knowing she’s a good person.
10 Jerk: Lana
One of the constant backstage stories revolves around Lana having controversy follow her. Many reports have inferred that Lana is very unpopular backstage among fellow wrestlers due to having an inflated ego. Despite rarely wrestling, Lana definitely views herself as one of the biggest stars in the WWE. Lana insulted Paige at one point on social media, calling her a bully before apologizing and making peace between the two.
Another story came out earlier this year that the rest of the locker room was unhappy with, as Lana got to participate in the WrestleMania 32 ten-women tag match. Lana's social media page does her no favors with many tweets throwing “shade” at other people on the roster. Lana has even insulted everyone’s favorite women’s wrestler, Sasha Banks. The perception of Lana is overwhelmingly negative and that is something she needs to change before it’s too late.
9 Sweetheart: John Cena
John Cena's body of work outside of the ring is second to none. Cena has dedicated the majority of his free time over the past decade as WWE’s top star to doing charitable work. The Make A Wish Foundation has seen Cena break their record for most wishes granted to ill children with the dream of meeting their favorite wrestling Superstar.
Cena views this aspect of the job as important as anything else he does. The reason so many kids view Cena as a hero is because he gives them everything back with all of his efforts. Cena is also a rare breed of wrestler. Most top guys before him like Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin used their position to hold down other wrestlers. However, Cena is known to do his best to help new stars get made, as seen with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles over the years.
8 Jerk: Austin Aries
Austin Aries entered the WWE in 2016, but he has been a fixture in the wrestling world for almost fifteen years. The great talent of Aries definitely makes him an exciting wrestler, but his ego is equally as large. Aries has been a controversial figure for many years due to his attitude leading to issues with other wrestlers and fans.
At one point in his ROH career, Aries punched a fan in the face for heckling him. Aries even started advertising “insults” at merchandise, where he would insult fans for the fee of $5. Unfortunately for some fans, Aries would insult them for free if he sees fit. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were three wrestlers to buttheads with Aries earlier in their careers.
7 Sweetheart: Big Show
The world’s largest athlete in the WWE is also the world’s largest softie. Big Show can intimidate any man, anytime he wants, but has a softer personality than most realize. WWE has employed him for the past eighteen years as an attraction. Show evolved throughout the years to become a locker room leader and is viewed as a genuinely friendly guy that helps younger wrestlers.
Most fans that meet Big Show also seem to love him. Show is one of the better wrestlers at going out of his way to make a fun and memorable experience for the fans, especially younger kids meeting the giant. His charitable efforts stand out as well, with him being a great guy that understands giving back. WWE will likely employ him as an ambassador when he retires.
6 Jerk: Sin Cara
One sign of a jerk in wrestling is someone continuously having drama with other members of the roster. WWE replaced Mistico with Hunico in 2013 to play the Sin Cara character. Everyone enjoyed it due to the botches being less frequent, but 2016 has proven the new Sin Cara to be a bigger jerk. Still working under the Sin Cara mask, he got into a fight backstage with The Vaudevillains tag team member, Simon Gotch.
It could be a fluke if two guys get into a fight one time and that’s the end of the issue. However, over the years, Hunico also got into fights with Sheamus and other unnamed members of the roster. WWE’s most recent juicy story featured Chris Jericho getting into a fight with him. Sin Cara was being loud and obnoxious on WWE’s tour bus in the United Kingdom. Jericho told him to be quiet and it culminated in a big fight between the two.
5 Sweetheart: Mick Foley
Mick Foley's career will live in infamy for all of the dangerous risks and incredible moments he provided. However, Foley never lost touch or turned his back on the fans, like many of his peers would. Wrestling fans still support Foley to the point that the WWE brought him back to be the Commissioner of Raw. Foley does convention appearances and used one-man shows to connect with the fans on an intimate level.
One thing that parallels Foley’s work as a wrestler is his work as a humanitarian. The hardcore legend works with many charities, but he gives most of his time to the RAINN organization helping sexual assault victims. Foley uses his connections and his own money to run a raffle at WrestleMania weekend. The incredible prizes essentially create a dream weekend for fans donating to RAINN as part of the raffle. Foley finds a way to help a great cause and give back to his fans at the same time.
4 Jerk: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is as friendly behind the scenes as he is on-screen. WWE has pushed him to the moon during both of his stints, as his star power is obvious, but he has remained one of the biggest jerks in wrestling over the years. Lesnar initially left the WWE after just two years on the main roster, as he hated the traveling schedule and opted out of the company.
WWE brought him back following his time in UFC and his personality has yet to change. Lesnar doesn’t want to make friends and is outwardly rude to many people. Chris Jericho discovered this when Brock used homophobic language to insult him backstage at SummerSlam 2016 after Lesnar’s stiff shots on Randy Orton. There are plenty of stories out there to convince fans to never approach Lesnar, but fellow wrestlers can’t befriend him either.
3 Sweetheart: Goldberg
Bill Goldberg's return to the WWE has added a lot to his legacy as a legend in the wrestling industry. Goldberg destroying Brock Lesnar in 86 seconds shocked the wrestling world and made him a hot commodity once again. Despite that, his reputation is all over the place, as many wrestlers hated him for his stiff shots and lack of respect for the business.
Goldberg has appeared to change his ways through the years. All of the young wrestlers to reference him in interviews claimed he was kind backstage, specifically Bayley and Sasha Banks, who were marking out over meeting the legend. More importantly, Goldberg goes well out of his way to try to do right by the fans. Goldberg organizes events to help children charities. I personally saw Goldberg come out of the locker room to help security make room for a child’s wheelchair at ringside for an independent wrestling show at Citi Field. It was pure class by the WCW legend.
2 Jerk: Randy Orton
Randy Orton has been a fixture in the WWE over the past thirteen years. The future Hall of Famer has achieved just about everything one can in the company. Orton, however, has always been followed with the reputation of being a jerk backstage. The Viper used to pick on the female performers in the company that he felt didn’t show proper respect.
Orton has been known for being a jerk to fans as well in person. There are certain wrestlers that will appease fans and show love back if you approach them. Orton is not one of those wrestlers, with the belief that he wants his privacy. One specific instance saw him humiliate a female fan by posting a photo with her on social media, insulting her because his fiancé thought she was rude. Stay away from Orton. The man calls himself The Viper for a reason.
1 Sweetheart: Bayley
Bayley's gimmick as a wrestling character is essentially being a sweetheart. Bayley celebrates her fandom of wrestling and reaches out to the audience as if she's one of them. From NXT to the main roster, Bayley has broadened her fan base with members of every demographic. The young girls to attend WWE shows have never really had a strong female character to relate to but Bayley has changed that.
Not only is it a character on television, but Bayley lives it by reaching out to her fans. At NXT shows, the young Izzy became part of the show due to Bayley making her feel special and appreciated. Her kindness and genuine likability make her one of the best faces going today. Bayley even hugs fans at all of her meet and greet appearances. No one is a bigger sweetheart in all of wrestling than Bayley.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!